Monday, February 7, 2011

How To Deal With Bad Reviews On Amazon

One of the most important selling tools for any Indie author trying to sell on Kindle are the reviews. Ideally you want as many four and five star reviews as possible because there’s no doubt that buyers are influenced by reviews, good and bad.

If a book is good then overall the number of good reviews will outweigh the bad, but in the early days one bad review can be damaging.

If you do get a bad review, it’s worth taking a good look at it. If Amazon feels that a review is ‘spiteful or malicious’ they will remove it! All you have to do is to contact Customer Services and explain why you think the review is unfair. Obviously you can’t just ask for a review to be removed simply because a reader didn’t enjoy the book. But there’s no doubt that there are some people who go around posting malicious one-star reviews! If I do get a one-star review I always look to see what else they have reviewed, and more often than not I find that my book is the only one.

Last month a reviewer gave Dreamer’s Cat just one star when they admitted that they hadn’t even read the book. This is what Pat wrote:

1.0 out of 5 stars
Present tense, 31 Jan 2011
Pat "technophobe" (UK) - See all my reviews

This review is from: dreamer's cat (Kindle Edition)

This is not a review as such, as I haven't read the book and unfortunately won't do so. Why? Because it's written in the present tense which, in my opinion (and I stress that it is only my opinion), simply doesn't work for a full length novel.

I've read other Stephen Leather novels and as far as I can remember he's always written in the past tense. Please return to your former technique, Stephen!

At first I thought it was funny, but Dreamer’s Cat only has 27 reviews, and while most of them are favourable there’s no doubt that a one star review brings down the average rating. Anyway, I dropped an email to Customer Services and today I got the following message back –

Hello Stephen Leather,

Thank you for bringing this customer review to our attention.

We have taken action to remove the customer review as it does not comply with our guidelines and will shortly disappear from the website. Our intention is to make the customer review forum a place for constructive commentary and feedback.

We thank you for taking the time to report this. Feedback from conscientious customers such as yourself helps us maintain the quality and integrity of our website.

And with minutes the offending review was gone!

So it does pay to keep a track of the reviews you’re getting, and if you feel that you have been given an unfair review, it’s worth taking it up with Amazon!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Stephen. I know you can't put your books up on Barns & Noble, but at that site a person can rate with stars a novel without a name or even writing a review. I got several one stars, which took down the 5 star rating from real reviewers. I am thankful that Amazon doesn't have this policy, and will listen to authors. Your directions on what to do are valuable.